NIH and NSF Collaborate on Biomedical Innovation

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The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation set up biomedical innovation and business program.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have collaborated on the I-Corps at NIH, a pilot program of the NSF Innovation Corps tailored for biomedical research. The program will train NIH-funded researchers to evaluate the commercial potential of scientific discoveries to further biomedical innovation.

I-Corps is a nine-week boot camp where researchers are paired with instructors that have biomedical business experience and take a scientific method approach to customer discovery. Academic researchers and entrepreneurs with Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I awards from participating NIH institutes will be eligible to apply to I-Corps at NIH. Participating NIH institutes include the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

“I-Corps will help teach NIH-funded start-ups how to build scalable business models around new technologies they’re developing for the detection and treatment of disease. The program sheds new light on how companies can deal with important business risks such as protecting intellectual property, and developing regulatory and reimbursement strategies,” said Michael Weingarten, director of the NCI SBIR Development Center, in a press release.

“This new collaboration with NIH is further evidence of the flexibility and efficacy of the I-Corps model,” said Pramod Khargonekar, NSF assistant director of engineering, in a press release. “Translating basic biomedical research to the marketplace has its own particular set of challenges, which we recognize. By focusing and adapting the I-Corps curriculum to the life sciences, we expect biomedical researchers will be better-equipped to enter the business arena.”


“This pilot will leverage NIH’s robust SBIR/STTR program and further NIH’s mission to advance our understanding of human illness and treatment of disease and disability,” said NIH SBIR/STTR program coordinator Matthew Portnoy. “We look forward to this collaborative endeavor with NSF.”

Source: NIH